Friday, 30 December 2011

We're going on a Bear Hunt

I hope you all had a good Christmas. I'm sure I have more posts on christmas theme to add, but since I have a moment and have these photos on phone posting now. This is a Christmas present I made for a child, I got the idea from pinterest and will share link later!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Christmas Food

So tomorrow we are having kids Christmas Party lunch, so nice stuff made. Cookie Christmas tree (Not too much icing, you'll find out why in a mo)
Cranberry sauce made and in jars (a little organised me thinks)
Not quite finished chocolate cake, but look at the icing a little too much made (hence why all icing sugar used, had to keep adding. After decanting a bit off and adding a whole bunch more icing sugar the correct consistency was got - left. Im calling the other one sauce)

So anyone any festive ideas for chocolate butter icing and or sauce?

Ps. Icing sugar for Americans is actually powdered sugar

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Bookworm Bookmark

Using unused blind fabric (the kind that doesn't fray) I cut out worm shapes. Felt pens work well on this.
Then using the materials from the wrapping activity (unplanned) the bookworm bookmarks were wrapped.
And a label made, again from the wrapping activity tray.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Christmas Fine Motor (2011)

So we had a similar activity last year, but this one requires a little more skill. I got new tiny sugar tongs from poundland, and had these other items hanging around the house. The aim is to tong the tiny pom poms onto the snowman saucer and the stars into the star cutter. I will let you know how they get on?
I have blogged about this activity previously, but today in an effort to conserve space on shelf I placed the cup tree into the bowl and the stars on top. HEY PRESTO, self enclosed activity think it will be remaining like this (may even stick it inside the bowl)

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Cutting Snowmen and Christmas Trees

After observing some difficulty with Christmas templates I made this simple cutting activity. I folded the paper, drew half the shape on the crease side. I provided scissors, stickers and ribbon. For children to cut out and create independents.
A beautiful christmas tree
A cool sonwman

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Nativity and tree decorating

The annual nativity display has been set up, this year with a new nativity. We still have lovely wooden one but this was on offer and we liked it a lot. This year it is set up alongside a small tree to decorate making the connection between the Christmas story and the festival.

A simple set up with star netting hanging from picture hook from top of wall.
A photo when it was dark (it's dark far too early), with a small battery operated light behind stable.
The tree to decorate, small decorations kept in gift boxes and gift bags.
Cup tree with bells on for easier decorating (they have tiny curtain rings on) or for playing and singing... jingle bells, jingle..

Friday, 16 December 2011

Christmas Activities

Wrapping practice and gift tag making. Gift tags simply cut out from last years Christmas cards.

One of the other activities availible is paper chain making, these strips come from that set, I thought they would be useful for some cutting practice though. Cutting each image out and sticking on something perhaps. Actually this is a bit below abilities but I am almost certain it will be a winner, just because of interest and sometimes thats ok in my opinion!!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Snow men counting

I got these snownen playing cards from pundland last year and planned to use them for song props but when i put them on a shelf next to my beads thought of this cool counting / fine motor activity.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Oreo Turkeys

Ok so being in England, we don't celebrate Thanksgiving! Now it seems we've acquired all your other holiday's and customs (halloween, fathers day etc.) I'm surprised we haven't stollen this one and made it our own! Obviously we couldn't celebrate the for the reasons you guys do, but certainly the essence of thankfulness is never wasted! Anyway we celebrate Thanksgiving (American in law) and this year made these cute turkey lollies inpiration obtained by googling "oreo turkeys" but I settled on these being the most easy to emulate in large numbers (we had fifty + for dinner). I obviously used white chocolate buttons for feathers because candy corn is too expensive in England (glued in with chocolate icing), liquorice laces for legs (pretzels too fat for my oreos) and half a smartie for beak (oh an a small piece of liquorice for that nose thing). I iced the eyes.
These were last year's turkeys, again inspired by bloggers via google, but using crispy cakes (English twist again) and pretzels for feathers- but these were way toooooo fragile to make a lot of!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Star Button Match

Selection of pairs of felt cut out stars, with buttons sewn to one pair and a slit big enough (but not too big) to accommodate a button. Children find matching stars and button them together. I also made a matching bag but a pretty box would be just as nice. This will supplements; christmas, twinkle twinkle and space themes/ interests, whilst the children develop fine motor skills, matching and explore connecting scheamas.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Journey to Bethlehem

This post was supposed to be on "all play on sunday" but accidently wrote on here, I was going to delte but thought it may be of interest to some of you (check out "all play on sunday" for similar ideas)So todays session was called "Journey to Bethlehem" inspiration given from Tidily Winks Red Book. However only limited aspects of session were used.

For play session we had :

King's Town playmat, (inspired by Filth Wizardry) complete with "The Kings Inn" and stable next door, a farm with sheep fields... get the idea modern day applications of what was around when Jesus was born.

Journey to Bethlehem matching cards (images obtained via google, I will add a link for all the printables at in week)

Transport sorting, this proved way more popular than I anticipated. We were to use these later in one of the stories.

Nativity desert box (really popular, had some great conversations)

Another activity at the free play time was colouring "tiny" Mary on a donkey pictures. To first of all use in the story and then to complete an journey advent calendar. The donkey and Mary were an edited image available from Activity Village
The children coloured the advent calendar and drew Mary and Joseph in the stable.

After play we sat down in a circle like usual and discussed what we had been playing with as an intro to the story, which went in the direction of we have that story at home (nativity, its baby Jesus), we played with sand and trains... we played with all of it etc. and we focussed in on, on the table with the nativity we were playing with a place in the sand and on the mat we were playing with a place with concrete roads. We talked about the story we were going to think about was about a journey on a road, a sandy road.
I then told our special story from the Bible, from before Jesus was born using the nativity props, sand tray and wooden blocks to create shelters.

I then read this story I created for this week, to tie in the transport theme I was focussing on. (I will post more details of this in the week)

We said the prayer (minor edits) from the tiddlywinks book.
The other craft option was decorating this donkey with fabric and sand (for dust). My crafts this week were rather prescriptive, this was for several 1. lacked inspiration for a simple yet purposeful craft 2. I wanted the children to take something home that showed a real link to session so parents could discuss it further 3. I realised that the children would likely be so engaged in the play they wouldn't want to spend ages engaging in craft (I was correct for some children)

Friday, 18 November 2011

Five Little Monkeys

I have had these resources for some time, and related resources have been available at for sometime, I just thought I'd take this opportunity to show you (need a quick post, been too busy making something/ watching Children in Need). The resources are things I have available for singing the song, but are also what I used to make the resources. There is a printable book, and an interactive powerpoint. Some example power point slides are below:

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Wee Wedgits Brilliant buy

Look! What I purchased today from the second hand baby/ child store!!! Wee Wedgits 30 piece set for £10 - Bargain, the cheapest I have found the set new is £33! And they have washed up perfect. I'm sure there will be more posts on these!

In out

About a year ago I posted a similar post on 3d object fitting. I have now added two additional objects and containers, I had lost the box and the cube (but found today)
I will keep them in this box, in keeping with theme although initially not with lid on.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Coaster Baby Toy

Babies love putting things in and out of containers, when I purchased these wooden coasters and container I thought they would make a great infant/ toddler activity. Will finally try them out this week, will post how well it goes!

Top Tips


Substitute cold water in playdough recipes for freshly boiled, it will "cook" the playdough immediately. No lengthy stirring/ burning problem

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Scented Playdough

So on a mission tonight to make scented playdough with what I had! Ended up with, coconut and ginger spice, vanilla, peppermint, and in the process came up with what may be a serious time saving new recipe!
I made Coconut playdough using body shop coconut body butter, and this is how I came up with a way of making playdough that I can't believe I hadn't realised before (There are plenty of examples of this method over the internet now I have searched). I simply followed the recipe that I posted a few days ago, but substituted the oil for body butter. In order to ensure I didn't have clumps of butter I boiled the water and added the body butter to that and then added each of the ingredients to that, in order to avert any potential chemical reactions (you never know). When I finally added the flour to my shock it simply got thick very, very quickly and hey presto playdough, no cooking at all. I hope it will keep the same as the cooking, but whatever I will defiantly be using boiling water again.
The coconut dough has turned out a VERY different consistency/ texture, rather crumbly and almost like short crust pastry, I am wondering if the body butter acted like shortening? Who knows?
In order to check that the crumbliness wasn't due to the boiling water method, I made vanilla playdough using the same method but adding the boiling water last (this way children can join in the making and adults simply add water). This time the consistency was not crumbly at all, so must be due to body butter?
The ginger spice one was the basic playdough recipe (on a pan- pre coconut revelation!) and simply adding copious amounts of dried spices, the ginger seemed to turn it the best colour so it has more ginger in!

Lastly pepermint, as above but adding pepermint and blue colouring to preferred strength after cooking, more flour was added to deal with the extra liquid.